Northern Indiana

Justices accept one criminal case

December 28, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has taken an Elkhart County appeal challenging three felony child molesting convictions and an 80-year aggregate sentence.
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Justices split over IHSAA athlete eligibility ruling

December 20, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana’s justices couldn’t agree on whether they should even rule on a case involving an athlete’s eligibility in high school when the girl is now playing college basketball.
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South Bend federal judge rules on FedEx class action litigation

December 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in South Bend has issued a significant 182-page opinion that holds FedEx drivers nationwide are independent contractors rather than employees entitled to back pay and full benefits.
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Judge Mathias recognized for civics education

December 15, 2010
IL Staff
Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Paul D. Mathias received the Indiana Bar Foundation’s William G. Baker Award Dec. 12 for his work with civics education. Judge Mathias was cited for his work with the We the People program at the state level and in the 3rd Congressional District in Northeast Indiana.
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COA rules in favor of town on breach of contract claim

December 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed partial summary judgment to a city that collected a lower monthly bill rate than what was required for wastewater treatment from a town for 15 years and then sued to recover more than $500,000 it believed was owed to it. The city never informed the town the sewage treatment rate increased or that it was embroiled in a lawsuit over the matter.
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Free CLE offered for pro bono volunteers

December 7, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
Bar associations and pro bono districts are working together to encourage attorneys to sign up to participate in the annual statewide Talk to a Lawyer Today event taking place Jan. 17, 2011. Free CLE, which is offered in December and January to lawyers who volunteer their time with TTALT but is not required to participate in the event, is a video replay of a CLE that originally took place in Indianapolis in October.
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Rule inapplicable as witness’s credibility not attacked

December 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court didn’t err by not letting a defendant introduce evidence of his brother’s prior robbery because the defendant wasn’t attacking the brother’s credibility.
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In case of dishonest lawyers

November 24, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nearly 50-year-old Indiana State Bar Association Clients’ Financial Assistance Fund has seen an unprecedented number of claims against a single attorney.
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Court programs, economy among focuses of foreclosure conference

November 24, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When it comes to the problem of mortgage foreclosures in Indiana, there appears to be no end in sight, at least not yet.
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Sidebars: Gamba Ristorante consistently top notch

November 24, 2010
Jennifer Lukemeyer, Fred Vaiana
Attorneys give Merrillville's Gamba Ristorante four gavels.
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Judicial candidates lose elections

November 24, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Two judicial candidates who’d faced Indiana Election Commission challenges earlier this year about their names even appearing on the ballot made it to the general election, but ended up losing the races and not getting to the bench in Lake and Allen counties.
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Bose McKinney opens Fort Wayne office

November 1, 2010
IL Staff
After serving clients in the Fort Wayne area for several years, Bose McKinney & Evans today opened an office in the city that will also house the Bose Public Affairs Group.
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Adult guardians sworn in

October 27, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
A swearing-in ceremony for the first class of the Wishard Volunteer Advocates Program took place Oct. 18 at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis.
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Judge DeGuilio to be officially sworn in Oct. 29

October 18, 2010
IL Staff
The state’s newest judge in the Northern District of Indiana will be formally sworn in Oct. 29 at the Robert A. Grant Federal Building and Courthouse in South Bend.
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Appellate court travels for arguments

October 18, 2010
IL Staff
As part of its “Appeals on Wheels” initiative, the Indiana Court of Appeals will hit the road this week to hear arguments.
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Longtime northern Indiana attorney dies

October 18, 2010
IL Staff
Nick J. Thiros, who practiced law in northwest Indiana for more than 50 years, died Oct. 14.
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Actual notice denies bona fide purchaser defense

October 12, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Indiana Court of Appeals today reversed an interlocutory order and remanded for the trial court to grant prejudgment possession of farm equipment to a company that had security interest in it even though it had been traded to another company.
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Wrongfully-convicted man sues for withholding evidence

October 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man who spent nearly 18 years in prison for crimes from which he was later exonerated is now suing the City of Hammond and various police officers involved in his arrest.
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Suit challenges Bible instruction at public school

October 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A mother’s objection to Bible study being taught at her son’s public school has led her to file a lawsuit to stop the religious teaching.
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Justices disagree on prosecutor's public reprimand

October 5, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has publicly reprimanded a lawyer for what happened to his license when he left private practice to become a full-time prosecutor in northwest Indiana, but the disciplinary action has split the state’s justices on whether a more severe punishment was warranted.
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State’s longest-seated chief public defender dies

October 1, 2010
IL Staff
Indiana’s longest-seated chief public defender and the first ever public defender in Porter County died unexpectedly Sept. 29.
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High court orders new murder trial

September 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court overturned a Fulton County man’s murder sentence because a detective continued with the interview even after the man invoked his right to counsel several times.
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Justices remind parties about decision certification

September 16, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted a rehearing on the appeal involving East Chicago casino money, using the chance to warn parties to not jump the gun in how it responds once an appellate ruling is initially issued.
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President names former deputy sheriff for U.S. Marshal

July 22, 2010
IL Staff
President Barack Obama nominated Myron M. Sutton, a former deputy sheriff in Newton County in 1998-2007, as United States Marshal for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Justices order trial on reasonable force issue

June 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A law enforcement officer’s use of force in excess of reasonable force authorized by statute isn't shielded from liability under the "enforcement of a law" immunity under Indiana Code Section 34-13-3-3(8), the Indiana Supreme Court held today.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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